Maloney’s last-gasp penalty steers Scarborough Athletic to FA Cup win at Darlington

Boro match reportBoro match report
Boro match report
A first away win of the season for Boro, as they battled hard to secure a 2-1 FA Cup 3rd qualifying round success at Darlington.

Kieran Weledji made his 100th competitive appearance, as Boro lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, with new loan signing from York City Finlay Barnes, (who has played six games on loan for Darlington this season), making his debut from the bench, writes Steve Adamson.

Darlington had two debutant loanees, keeper David Robson from Hull City and centre-back Jack Hannah from Middlesbrough, with ex-Boro duo Tommy Taylor and Jacob Hazel both on the bench.

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It was a competitive game, with both sides looking to pass the ball around, and the hosts should have gone ahead on seven minutes, when Will Hatfield sent a cross from the right into the goalmouth, and an unmarked Jassem Sukar inexplicably headed a yard wide. Hatfield was outstanding all game, and he twice raced into the Boro area, only to be foiled by superb tackles from Will Thornton, then Alex Purver. Toby Lees then blazed high over the Boro bar.

Lewis Maloney fired in a free-kick from the left, which home keeper Robson smothered at his near post, then Boro keeper Joe Cracknell made a terrific save, when Hatfield’s pass sent Kallam Griffith through on goal, but Cracknell got down quickly to block his fierce shot.

A strike from Andrew Nelson deflected off Ryan Qualter into Cracknell’s arms, then at the other end, a Maloney shot was deflected wide by Griffith, but Boro opened the scoring on 43 minutes when Maloney dinked a cross into the goalmouth, and the hard-working Frank Mulhern flicked his header inside the right-hand post.

Darlington went in search of a leveller in the second half, but the Boro back line of Weledji, skipper Thornton, Qualter and Brown was solid and commanding, and Cracknell was rarely tested.

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Hatfield sent a 25-yard shot wide, Griffith headed over at the far post, then Griffith also headed a Ben Liddle cross wide.

They equalised when Griffith sent a high ball into the Boro area from the right and the referee spotted a handball, with Hatfield blasting the spot-kick straight down the middle, as Cracknell dived to his right.

Reigning Darlington player of the year Alex Purver was in inspirational form, and Maloney and Colville also showed great skills as Boro quickly bounced back, Purver winning possession and setting up Michael Coulson, whose shot was blocked by Sukar, then Colville went on a mazy dribble past two defenders, and laid off to Maloney, who drilled his shot just over.

A Maloney corner to the back post, was headed over by Qualter, before Boro snatched a late winner, when Hannah over-hit a back pass to his keeper following a through-ball from Weledji, and Robson had to scramble to push the ball clear.

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Coulson pounced and tried to slam in the rebound, but was bundled over by Lees, and Maloney sent Robson the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Boro comfortably held out for the remaining five minutes to seal their place in the next round.

DARLINGTON - Robson, Sukar, Platt, Lees, Liddle (Heeley 81), Nelson, Hatfield, Hannah, Mustoe (Hazel 63), Salkeld, Griffith.

BORO - Cracknell, Weledji, Brown, Maloney, Thornton, Qualter, Purver, Durose (Wiles 70), Mulhern (Coulson 49), Green (Barnes 56), Colville.

REFEREE - James Bancroft

GOALS - DARLINGTON - Will Hatfield 74 (pen)

BORO - Frank Mulhern 43, Lewis Maloney 85 (pen)

YELLOW CARDS - DARLINGTON - Cameron Salkeld, Tom Platt, Jack Hannah; BORO - Frank Mulhern, Lewis Maloney, Joe Cracknell, Luca Colville.


ATTENDANCE - 1,369 (327 away)